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Gov’t dragged to court over Mityana shooting

Police used live bullets during Mityana protests over detention of their area MP Francis Zaake, injuring several. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA- Seven people have dragged government to court seeking compensation after they were shot by police officers during August 19 protests in Mityana Municipality over the detention of MP Francis Zaake and Robert Kyagulanyi, aka, Bobi Wine.

The shooting claimed two lives and in a suit filed before the High Court Civil Division, the group, who claim they were injured while travelling in a taxi to watch a football match in Kyaggwe, Kayunga District, want the Attorney General to identify the police officers who shot at them and also dismiss them from public service.

They are Ms Doreen Asiimwe, Ms Jalia Nkamya, Mr Derrick Sengooba, Mr Hassan Sebulime, Mr Abubakari Segawa, Mr Jerengesa Matovu and Mr Ramathan Muwonge.

“On August 19, 2018, at Mityana the applicants were in a taxi Reg no. UBA 869C as passengers on their way to Buganda Masaza football match between Singo and Kyaggwe, when the police showered bullets at the vehicle killing two people and injuring the applicants,” reads in part the court documents.

According to the petitioners through their lawyer, Mr Ladislaus Rwakafuzi, the shooting was unprovoked, wanton and arbitrary and a violation of the constitutional guarantees to freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and also a violation to the police’s constitutional role of protecting lives and property.

In his affidavit Sebulime 28, a businessman dealing in merchandise says that about midday, he was among many people including the other six herein all of them football fans travelling in the said taxi.

He further states that at the junction of the road to Busubizi-Kampala Mitiyana Road, a police patrol car with many policemen looked as if it was chasing their taxi.

One of the victims from court. (Photo by Racheal Agaba)

He says that their driver drove on the Busubizi Road about 200 meters and was about to park at a primary school, the police shot the taxi’s tyres repeatedly without assigning any reason, its fuel tank and the vehicle came to an abrupt halt.

“Bullets grazed my back and my right hand and I did not go to the hospital but reported to police,” Sebulime further narrates.

The case had come up for hearing before Justice Lydia Mugambe who was not around and it was adjourned to November 7.

Last week on Saturday President Museveni apologized to the locals in Mityana over the death of two people who were shot during protests that broke out in protest over the detention of Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake.

Speaking at the opening of St. Andrews Cathedral, Namukozi in Mityana district on Saturday, the president said he was sorry for the mistake by police that led to death of people and injuring others.

“I apologise for the mistake committed by police officers. I can’t tell whether it was intended or done in panic for the officers to fire live bullets at the taxi,” Museveni said.

Museveni told locals that the two police officers who shot at a taxi carrying supporters from a football match abandoned their guns and went into hiding but noted that they are still looking for them to answer the charges.

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